FORT LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - Parts of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport have reopened after a deadly shooting, Friday that left five people dead and at least six others injured.
At approximately 4:55 a.m Saturday, FLL saw the dawn of a new day and the reopening of parts of the airport. However, the tragedy and chaos that took place there less than 24 hours are still fresh in the mind of many.
Commercial flights have resumed, but airport officials are advising passengers to check with their airlines to make sure their flight is still scheduled because, they said, some flights have been canceled.
Travelers and employees could be seen returning to the airport after all operations were put at a standstill, Friday.
Police said the ordeal began when 26-year-old Esteban Santiago shot 13 people, killing five and injuring six. Officials said Santiago waited to be arrested after running out of ammo.
Santiago remains in federal custody, having been booked into the BSO Main Jail overnight after agents completed their questioning.
The shooting called for a large local and federal response that shut down the airport for hours. Many passengers had to leave behind luggage and personal items. Airport officials said they now have to process and collect more than 20,000 personal belongings and suitcases.
Terminal 2, where the onslaught began, was expected to remain closed as authorities continue to investigate. Late Saturday morning, however, Delta Airlines officials released a statement that reads in part, “Terminal 2, where Delta operates its FLL flights, remains closed to operating aircraft due to the ongoing investigation into Friday’s shooting in the baggage area. However, the TSA has been cleared to start limited screening of departure passengers and bags from Terminal 2. ”
Gov. Rick Scott addressed the media, Saturday morning, and he emphasized the safety of Florida. “We’re gonna use every resource to keep every visitor in our state safe, every citizen in our state safe. The number one priority in our state is safety. ”
Gov. Scott also praised law enforcement for their quick response, and also mentioned that his heart goes out to all of the victims and their families.
In a news conference with the FBI and the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Saturday morning, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said the six victims remain hospitalized with three in good condition and three in the intensive care unit. Officials said one of those patients is expected to be released sometime on Saturday.
Authorities also said they have identified the deceased victims and are now notifying next of kin.
FBI Special Agent George Piro also said in the press conference that it is too early in the investigation to rule out terrorism. He also said the suspect appears to have adhered to TSA guidelines in regards to checking in the weapon.
The investigation is still ongoing.
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